Omar Sachedina assumed his role on the CTV National News anchor desk Monday night addressing the controversy around Lisa LaFlamme’s exit from the network head on. On his first night succeeding LaFlamme as Chief Anchor and Senior Editor, Sachedina told viewers “we typically cover the news, but lately we have become the subject of it.” He went on to acknowledge “the inspiration and mentor that Lisa LaFlamme has been to me over the years.” Sachedina found himself the target of public backlash as Bell Media rushed to name him as LaFlamme’s replacement on the same day the veteran anchor revealed that her contract had been terminated prematurely after 35 years with CTV. Read more here.
The Canada Media Fund’s 2021-22 Annual Report indicates that its investments in the screen-based industries triggered a record-breaking $1.9B in production. According to the report, every $1 of CMF funding generated $5.16 in production activity, the highest leverage ratio since the public-private partnership was founded in 2010, helping create close to 217,000 jobs in Canada’s screen sector. CMF programs delivered $359M in funding for the development, production, promotion, and export of 1,433 television and digital media projects in 2021-22. Read more here.
Shamier Anderson and Stephan James will host The Legacy Awards later this month, the first major Canadian awards show to celebrate and showcase Black talent. The Scarborough-born brothers, actors and producers, who are also executive producing the awards show (alongside Daniel Abrams and Norbert Abrams), are the founders of Bay Mills Studios and The Black Academy, a Toronto-headquartered, membership-based organization that operates at the intersection of Black popular culture and social justice. Set to air on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, Sept. 25 in a live, 90-minute telecast, the preliminary lineup of performers includes Jully Black; Deborah Cox; Keysha Freshh; Izzy-S; Kardinal Offishall; SATE; Savannah Ré; and DJ 4KORNERS, with confirmed presenters so far including comedian/actor King Bach, former Governor General Michaëlle Jean; and media personalities Arisa Cox, Brandon Gonez, Kathleen Newman-Bremang, Amanda Parris, and Odario Williams. Read more here.
Eternal Spring (長春): The Heist of China’s Airwaves has signed a worldwide license deal with VICE, complemented by domestic deals with ARTE France / Germany, RTS Switzerland, VG Norway, Current Time (Russian Language, European Territories), and Al Jazeera Doc Channel (MENA), with more sales announcements to follow. Sideways Film is repping world sales on the Canadian production on behalf of Lofty Sky Entertainment and director/producer Jason Loftus. Telefilm announced on Aug. 24 that Eternal Spring will be Canada’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards, the first documentary, first animated film, and first Mandarin-language film to be chosen by Canada. The film will open theatrically in Canada on Sept. 23.
Blue Ant Media has acquired Mike Holmes’ extensive library of unscripted original series and specials. The deal gives Blue Ant ownership of over 200 hours of programming from the past two decades, including all seasons of Holmes on Homes, Holmes Makes it Right, Holmes Inspection, and specials like Holmes for the Holidays, Holmes in New Orleans and Mike’s Ultimate Garage. As current licenses expire, the library will launch in FAST exclusively on Blue Ant Media’s free streaming channel Homeful, which showcases real estate, design and decor. Over the coming months, audiences in the U.S. and Canada will see Homeful introduce the Holmes content on platforms including Roku, LG and Xumo. Blue Ant International now holds distribution rights to Holmes’ catalog, which will debut at MIPCOM 2022 this fall. As part of the partnership, Blue Ant will also commission new original programming with Mike and his kids Michael Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes.
W Network is the exclusive home of Emmy Award-winning daytime drama, Days of our Lives, in Canada, starting Sept. 12. Following the last airing of Days of our Lives on Global on Friday, Sept. 9, the series will move to W Network weekdays at 1 p.m. ET/PT. The series will remain available to stream live and on demand with STACKTV and on the Global TV App through a subscription to W Network via a TV provider. The change comes as NBC Universal moves Days of our Lives from NBC to its Peacock streaming service in the U.S. Days of our Lives aired its 14,000th episode in 2020 and remains NBC’s longest-running series.
Tracking the Ten launched on Bell Fibe on Sept. 5. The docuseries, produced by Alan Schwarz, sees the filmmaker track down 10 guys he grew up with – all born and raised in Oshawa and who celebrated their Bar Mitzvahs in the same year, 1973. The six-part series sees Schwarz track down the group after nearly 50 years.
Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is back in-cinema for its 41st edition, Sept. 29 – Oct. 9, which includes revamped film series and a new international film competition for emerging directors. This year’s program features roughly 130 feature films and 100 shorts screening across seven Vancouver venues, as well as 20 other events. All films will be presented in-cinema, with a small curated selection of titles available for streaming across British Columbia on VIFF Connect. The festival will officially open with Bones of Crows by Métis filmmaker Marie Clements, the epic tale of Aline Spears, a Cree matriarch played by Grace Dove (Monkey Beach) who survives the residential school system and becomes a code talker for the Canadian Air Force during WWII. The closing gala presentation will be South Korea’s Broker by VIFF favourite Hirokazu Kore-eda, a sprawling crime story about a baby kidnapping scheme starring Song Kang-ho (Parasite).
FIN Atlantic International Film Festival (AIFF) has announced its full program, featuring 178 films, in 29 different languages from close to 30 countries and the return of a full slate of special events. Screenings will be presented over eight days at Cineplex Cinemas Park Lane in Halifax with 77 films being presented virtually throughout Atlantic Canada online via FIN Stream, Sept. 15-22. The Opening Night Gala will be Clement Virgo’s Brother. Virgo has had a long relationship with the festival and Atlantic Canada, with some of his most celebrated work, including Poor Boy’s Game and The Book of Negroes shot in Nova Scotia. Wrapping up this year’s festival is Closing Night Gala screening, The Whale, directed by critically-acclaimed filmmaker, Darren Aronofsky.
The Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) returns with its 18th edition, Sept. 20-25. #MIBFF22 will present 95 films from 25 countries, including 12 World Premieres, 10 International Premieres, 25 Canadian Premieres and nine Quebec Premieres. Opening night will take place Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Imperial Theatre with the International Premiere of Matt Waldeck’s Lovely Jackson (USA), followed by a Q&A session with the director and exonerated prisoner Rickey Jackson, who withstood 39 years of wrongful incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit. #MIBFF22 will close at Cinéma du Musée with the Canadian Premiere of Manuel Schapira’s Tropique de la Violence (France).
CBC/Radio-Canada is the lead partner in “From Pepinot to PAW Patrol® – Television of Our Childhoods,” which will run until Sept. 1, 2023 at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. Canadians are invited to reconnect with the shows that shaped their childhoods for more than 70 years, including Anne of Green Gables, Bobino, Degrassi, La boîte à surprise, Mr. Dressup, PAW Patrol, Pépinot, The Friendly Giant, Takuginai and Watatatow. Highlights include the legendary Tickle Trunk and costumes from Mr. Dressup, in addition to hundreds of excerpts from favourite shows. Still images, archival material, and original props, puppets and scenery are also on display.